Totalitarianism is Chic When It’s Ironic and Past-Tense

Courtesy of Mutant Frog (now based on Bangkok) and the ever-Canadian Younghusband of Coming Anarchy, three photos of girls Mel Brooks-ing the evil of the past by robbing it of its terror (through cosplay — at least they aren’t furries).

But this post has a serious message:

Actually, the North Korean one isn’t in jest, at all. North Korea is still owned by terror. North Korea detained an American for decades and kidnapped his Japanese wife. North Korea is a nightmare-state.

The men and women, boys and girls, of North Korea will not be free until the Pyongyang government is deposed, either be a coup, a Chinese invasion, or American regime change.

The men of North Korea will not be free to be men, and the women of North Korea will not be free to be women, until liberty comes to that half of the Republic of Korea. Let’s hope it comes soon.

Ask.com’s Asymmetric Strategy (Attacks Bloggers, Butters-up Magazines)

Ask.com: Big Meanies?,” Catholicgauze, 19 May 2006, http://catholicgauze.blogspot.com/2006/05/askcom-big-meanies.html (from tdaxp).

Ask.com Maps drops the ball – AGAIN,” Catholicgauze, 19 May 2006, http://catholicgauze.blogspot.com/2006/05/askcom-maps-drops-ball-again.html.

Globalization Competitive Landscape,” by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 10 August 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/08/globalizations_.html.

Stephen F. DeAngelis discusses the search engine Ask (formerly Ask Jeeves) in his latest blog post:

Ask.com has shown a certain level of resiliency simply by surviving when similar companies have not. All of the other surviving competitors mentioned above, however, are behemoths by comparison. That caused the Financial Times to examine how the company survived thus far and how it plans to survive in the future. Ask.com received a financial shot in the arm when it was purchased by InterActive Corp, the internet services and home shopping company run by Barry Diller. Like most smart Davids taking on much bigger Goliaths, Ask.com selected an asymmetric strategy…

In other words, Ask.com plans on thriving by not taking on the big boys head-to-head, but by securing a unique niche based on a different approach to searching the Web. “It’s not a question of being better – it’s just different,” adds Rahul Lahiri, head of product management. “It isn’t a zero-sum game.”

As I see it, this is the correct use of an asymmetric strategy. When we see non-state actors using asymmetric strategies to challenge the U.S. or other western powers, they generally understand that they have opted for a lose-lose scenario (I’m going to hurt the big guy even if it kills me). Ask.com is looking for an approach where everyone can continue to win. Smart. Differentiation is the holy grail that most businesses look for in order to separate themselves from the competition. The company’s first attempt to differentiate itself (and the reason it started life as Ask Jeeves) was to use “human editors to post answers to the most common questions asked on the internet. In spite of promising instant answers to users’ questions, it could not deal with the wide range of queries that came its way.”

I agree with Stephen that Ask employs asymmetric strategies, but I would add another example. Like Hezbollah, Ask is targeting media. Just as Hezbollah attempts to curry sympathy from the global media and place Lebanese media under armed control, Ask attempts to curry sympathy with large media outlets (such as the Financial Times) while punishing smaller one that criticize it.

For instance, after Catholicgauze issued a negative review of Ask.com Maps, pointing out insane maps such as this:

greatlakesoz_md
The Mythical Great Lakes of Australia

Ask.com blacklisted Catholicgauze. My blogfriend’s site is still unreachable through Ask.com

To this day, Catholicgauze’s blogspot blog doesn’t occur in the top ten results for “Catholicgauze” or even “Catholicgauze blogspot.”

Other companies have gone ever farther than Ask.com, using lawfare. These firms and individuals, including former South Dakota Senator , , and NationMaster, Ask.com merely uses its leverage as a small search engine to hurt an ever smaller blog.

Afro-Islamic Gap v. Old Core

IQ and the Non-Integrating Gap,” by Arcane, gnxp, 26 September 2004, http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/002790.html.

The great divide: Pew surveys Muslim public opinion,” by Allahpundit, Hot Air, 22 June 2006, http://hotair.com/archives/2006/06/22/the-great-divide-pew-surveys-muslim-public-opinion/ (from Michelle Malkin).

Air chaos as terror plot foiled,” by Michael Holden and and David Clarke, The Standard, 11 August 2006, http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=16&art_id=24845&sid=9270156&con_type=3.

I’ve previously noted how the Non-Integrating Gap — those areas that are getting worse as globalization makes the world as a whole a better place — exports her violence to the Core — those areas benefiting the most from the global economy, Specifically I outlined how the Gap exported her terror to India and Israel.

Now the United Kingdom has been struck

British police foiled a suspected plot to blow up several aircraft mid-flight between Britain and the United States in what Washington said might have been an attempted al-Qaeda strike.

“We are confident we have disrupted a plan by terrorists to cause untold death and destruction,” said London police’s Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson Thursday. “Put simply, this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale.”

Sources said some of those held are British Muslims.

The security alert comes 13 months after four British Islamist suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured about 700 on London’s transport network.

While the Gap is both African and Islamic

tdaxps_new_map_md
Red = Gap, Yellow = Seam, Green = Core

A few things should be obvious:

  • The merely “African” portion of the Gap does not export terrorism. Terror — from India to Israel to England — is exported by Muslims. Islam is not a race, an ethnicity, or a nationality. It is a religion.
  • As a religion, it exists regardless of social status. During the London Train Bombings, we saw how a Muslim teacher of disabled children was part of the terror plot.
  • As a religion, it exists with little regard for geography. It appears the Muslims to were going to conduct this terror attack were British citizens.

The Global War on Terror, our long war, will be won when the Islamic world is lifted up from the Gap. This is for our benefit — no more of them exporting disease, plague, war, and terror, and for theirs. The Gap traps human beings in misery, poverty, and ignorance. The borders of the “non-integrating gap” are also very close to the borders of the lowest IQ nations:

Our actions, which are designed to change rulesets of action, thought, and behavior in the Islamic World, are going to invite retaliatory strikes…. even if the host populations of our enemies do not see a connection:

Therefore, we must firewall ourselves off from the terrorism of the Islamic Gap while changing regime rulesets of the Islamic Gap. Or, in simpler English, we are an open society, but we do not have to be an open society for all people at all times. And it may not be the risk.